Business

July Marks Strongest Month For Houston Auto Sales In A Year

Low retail prices, easy financing, and cheap gasoline all helped draw consumers to dealerships, leading to a year-over-year increase in sales of more than 17 percent.

 

Total sales from Greater Houston dealers came to 35,748 vehicles in July, the highest monthly total in the past twelve months. It marked an increase in sales of 3.8 percent compared to June and 17.1 percent compared to July 2014.

“The average retail sales price was the lowest in nine months,” says Steve McDowell, president of InfoNation and publisher of TexAuto Facts. “In addition to that, you’ve got vehicles with increased fuel efficiency and low gasoline prices and low-cost financing. So the total cost of purchasing and owning a vehicle is as attractive as it has been in recent years and probably better.”

Sales of cars and smaller-model SUVs drove the strong July totals. By contrast, sales of pickup trucks fell to their lowest share of the total market in two years, in large part due to weaker demand from the construction industry.

Fleet sales, primarily sales to car rental firms, fell for the third-straight month, hitting their lowest level of the year.

McDowell says that’s in part the result of a deliberate strategy by car manufacturers to focus on sales to individual consumers, which generate higher profits.

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Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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